Canada is the backyard in which Hollywood plays. So, it comes as no surprise that Canada derives a lot of business from the entertainment capital south-of-the-border, be it in the form of music festivals or location shoots. Consequently, the government of Canada facilitates the entry of necessary personnel into the country to keep this win-win relationship functioning at an optimal level.

If you or any of your staff are looking to enter Canada for the purpose of entertainment, check out the following four ways for entry made by the CIC:

  1. Business Investor: If you invest $300,000 in the Canadian market, you can move here as a Business Investor and that means you don’t need a work permit. This is a great option for movie producers or performing artists. Film producers are those who are entering Canada to work on a movie, TV show, or documentary. In order for these individuals to qualify as business visitors, the project they are working on in Canada must be a foreign-financed production. Collaborations between foreign production companies and Canadian entities do not constitute such a production, as the project must be entirely foreign-funded. The moment any Canadian money goes towards the production, work permits will most likely be required as Canadian investment in the project precludes the possibility of the producer receiving consideration as a business visitor. In order to avoid issues upon entry, it is therefore essential for foreign film crews entering Canada to be intimately familiar with the bankrolling of the project and who is providing financial support. The other most widely encountered category of individuals in the entertainment industry entering Canada as business visitors is performing artists. These artists can be performing at a show, concert or festival, or they might be doing a guest spot on a television series or a film that is being filmed in Canada. Whatever the venue, as long as their reason for entering Canada constitutes a time-limited engagement, they can most likely receive consideration as business visitors. It is only in cases of recurring, regular performances that the need to procure work authorization arises.
  1. LMIA Exemption: Certain entertainment industry workers could be eligible for a work permit that is exempt from the need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), thereby simplifying the application process and reducing the wait time. An LMIA is a document that serves as proof that no Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available to perform the job. Eligibility for this option hinges on the notion of an individual’s position or occupation being essential to the production, which provides some flexibility with regard to who can receive consideration under this facilitated option. This is because no exhaustive list of “essential personnel” is provided, and its definition is, therefore, open to interpretation. The personnel which may be considered essential can vary from one situation to another thus, this determination is made on a case-by-case basis and depends largely upon what evidence is provided in support of the worker being “essential” to the production.


  1. LMIA Advertising Exemption: If an LMIA is required in order for the entertainment industry worker(s) to begin working in Canada, there may nonetheless be a facilitated process whereby the position does not need to be advertised in order for the LMIA to be issued successfully, thus eliminating what is typically the most problematic aspect of the LMIA application. Not having to demonstrate sufficient recruitment efforts renders the process significantly more expeditious and increases the likelihood of LMIA approval. In such a case, the most onerous requirement associated with the LMIA is the need for the employer to pay the $1,000 processing fee.


  1. Ordinary LMIA Process: If none of the above scenarios apply, the entertainment workers may need to go through the regular LMIA process to get a work permit.

Overall, in each of the outlined processes you’ve got a lot to consider. Find the best way for you and your staff to work in Canada, if you need any help or expertise along the way, AllCleared is here to help. Contact us for your free consultation today. We have staff ready to answer any questions you may have about immigrating, working, or visiting Canada.